Wednesday, February 05, 2020

2020.02.05 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Samuel 1:9-18

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Hannah do in 1 Samuel 1:9? After what? Where? What kind of meal would this have been? Who was there? Where was he sitting? How did she feel (1 Samuel 1:10)? What did she do unto the Lord? What was she doing while she prayed? What kind of prayer does 1 Samuel 1:11 describe? What does she ask for the Lord to do? If He answers, what does she promise to the Lord that she will do? What was Eli watching (1 Samuel 1:12)? But where was Hannah speaking (1 Samuel 1:13)? What couldn’t Eli hear? What did he think? What did Eli ask in 1 Samuel 1:14? What did he command! How does Hannah answer with respect to her own spirit (1 Samuel 1:15)? What had she not done? What had she done? What does she call a woman who would let herself be drunk (1 Samuel 1:16)? What is her explanation in verse 16 for the manner of her speech? Now what does Eli tell her to do (1 Samuel 1:17)? And what blessing does he pronounce on her? What is Hannah willing to do now (1 Samuel 1:18, cf. end of 1 Samuel 1:7)? What can no longer be seen on her face?
The Lord Jesus’s sacrifice was on display in the sacrifices at the tabernacle in Shiloh. And the Lord Jesus’s priesthood was on display in the high priesthood of Eli in Shiloh.

Now, Eli couldn’t hear Hannah pray, but we both watch and listen, and find that she is an example unto us of how faith clings to Christ. She is not satisfied for mere outward formalities of worship. The animals are slaughtered, sacrifices offered, and ceremonial meal is going. Everyone else eats and drinks, but Hannah doesn’t eat until 1 Samuel 1:18.

Why? She must have heart-dealings with the Lord first. Her soul is bitter (1 Samuel 1:10), so she speaks in her heart (1 Samuel 1:13), and she pours out her soul (1 Samuel 1:15). There is no hint here of the idea that New Testament religion is all inward and spiritual (the Lord wants our actions and manner too!), while Old Testament religion was all outward and formal (the Lord stirred up believers hearts and inner being toward Himself then, too!).

Consider that at the end of 1 Samuel 1:18, Hannah is eating, and all is well with her heart-revealing face. What has changed? Has she conceived? Has the Lord remembered her? No, those things don’t happen until back in Ramah. But she has had opportunity to pour herself out to Him, and His appointed mediator has taken up her case to God and pronounced God’s blessing to her. Her circumstances haven’t changed, but the reality of God’s covenant grace literally transforms the face of the very same set of circumstances.

Now, if Hannah can lay hold of God this way, and go from grief to gladness by vigorously engaging Him to whom she came through the blood of bulls and the mediation of Eli, how much more ought we to freely and vigorously pour ourselves out to God? We come through the shed blood of Jesus, and the personal high-priestly ministry of our risen Redeemer! Shall we not take any bitterness of soul that we have, and pour our souls out to God through Him, and be relieved of our anguish even before the circumstance resolves?!
When did you last pour out your soul unto the Lord? When might you do so?
Suggested Songs: ARP102A “To This My Prayer” or TPH520 “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”

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